Cooking is an essential skill that everyone needs to rely on from time-to-time. Yet, so many young adults enter college or the working world and have no idea how to make a meal. Although it can be frustrating at times to work with kids in the kitchen, you can guarantee that the payoff will be well worth it in the long run. Not only will they be getting a delicious meal out of the process. They’ll also be receiving a ton of other benefits.
Here are some of them.
It Teaches Them Independence
When you teach children how to cook, you’re really teaching them how to take care of themselves.
Unless they grow up to be wealthy enough to have a private chef, they’re going to have to know how to whip up at least a few meals to feed themselves. Plus, if they have children of their own, they’re going to be the ones that are responsible for mealtime, at least for a while.
By letting your kid take the reins with age-appropriate culinary tasks, you’re letting them figure things out on their own and solve roadblocks to get the job done. That’s a lifelong skill that will benefit them well beyond the kitchen.
It Helps Them Understand Nutrition
When kids have an active role in choosing recipes, shopping for groceries, and combining all the ingredients, they start to understand how food nourishes our body.
For instance, it might be easy for them to love their favorite cheesecake when it’s made for them. But once they see how much fat and sugar is involved before it goes in the oven, they might reconsider how often it should be part of their diet.
Talk to your kids about nutrition. Help them learn to read food labels to understand what they’re eating and how it can affect their bodies.
It Helps Them Save Money
Most people in their late teens and early 20s rely on a steady diet of eating out or expensive junk food, even when they aren’t making much money.
However, there is a wealth of nutritious meals that they can make without having a dent in their budget. By teaching your child these cooking skills now, they’ll be able to save money when they need it most and sustain themselves even when their wallet is feeling a little light.
It Increases Their Ability to Follow Instructions
Teaching kids to follow instructions can be one of the hardest challenges as a parent, but learning to cook will hone this skill naturally.
Kids will have to pay close attention to measurements, instructions, cook times, oven temperatures, and any final steps if they want their hard work to pay off. It may take a few mistakes along the way. But after one or two disasters, you can be sure they’ll always read and double-check any instructions before beginning!
It Lets Them Participate in Taking Care of the Family
Kids want to feel like they’re an essential part of the family, but it can be hard for them to feel that way if they don’t have any responsibilities. By letting them in the kitchen to make dinner (or even dessert), they can delight in pleasing their parents and filling everyone’s stomachs at the same time. And once the compliments to the chef start rolling in, they won’t ever want them to stop!
It Expands Their Palate
Even the pickiest eaters will make some exceptions if they help participate in making a meal. After all, who would want to put in all of that hard work and not enjoy the end product? Cooking a meal themselves will help demystify the food in front of them. That means they’ll be testing out unique ingredients and finding new favorites in no time.
It Gives You a Break
Do we really need to say more about this one? Sure it could be a little more work at first to supervise them and give them the help they need to get started. Once they know what they’re doing, you can let them do their thing while checking off the million other items on your to-do list!
Next time you step into the kitchen to make a meal for your family, be sure to get your children involved too. Little ones can help mix and combine ingredients, while older kids can learn basic knife skills and use a stove or oven. With a bit of patience and guidance, you may soon find that you have quite the chef on your hands!